Reiki practitioners believe that beneficial effects are obtained from a â€œuniversal life energyâ€ that practitionersÂ channel to patients, providing strength, harmony and balance to the body and mind.Â Reiki aims to treat health problems and to enable patients to feel enlightened, with improved mental clarity, well-being and spirituality.Â Reiki is sometimes administered to people who are dying, with the goal of instilling a sense of peace.Â Reiki masters believe that all living beings are affected by universal life energy, and animals may be treated in the same manner as humans.
It has been proposed that Reiki can lower heart rate and blood pressure, boost the immune system, alter hormone levels, stimulate endorphins and affect skin temperature and blood hemoglobin levels.Â However, these properties have not been well studied or clearly demonstrated in scientific studies.Â
In Reiki treatments, practitioners position their hands in 12 to 15 different positions, which are held for two to five minutes each.Â TheyÂ may place their hands directly on a clothed patient or holdÂ their hands one to two inches above the patient.Â Practitioners believe that hand positions can cover all of the body systems within 30 to 90 minutes.Â The number of sessions varies based on the judgment of the practitioner.Â Participants have reported warmth, tingling, sleepiness, relaxation or invigoration during Reiki.Â Â
Sometimes a technique called sweeping is used at the beginning of a session; sweeping involves the practitioner passing hands over the patient.Â This technique is proposed to allow the practitioner to detect areas of energy disruption, imbalance or blockage and allows the practitioner to cleanse patients of negative feelings, emotions or physical burdens.Â
High quality scientific evidence is not available for this technique. That said, serious adverse effects have not been reported in association with Reiki.Â Some Reiki practitioners believe that Reiki should be used cautiously in individuals with psychiatric illnesses.
Stress affects you emotionally, as well as physically, marring the joy you gain from life and loved ones. Stress Management:Techniques for Preventing and Easing Stress, a special report from Harvard Medical School, can help you identify triggers for stress in your own life and understand the obvious and hidden ways in which stress affects your body. Applying the practical stress control techniques in these pages can help you neutralize its damaging effects.